Captains and the Kings

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Captains and the Kings

The tumult and the shouting dies, The Captains and the Kings depart. Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice-An humble and a contrite heart. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget, lest \Ve forget! -RUDYARD KIPLING

Foreword This book is dedicated to the young people of An1erica, who are rebelling because they know something is very wrong in their country, but do not know just what it is. I hope this book will help to enlighten the1n. There is not, to my knowledge, any fa1nily like the "Annagh Family" in America, nor has there ever been, and all characters, except those obviously historical, are 1ny own invention. However, the historical background and the political background of this novel are authentic. The "Committee for Foreign Studies" does indeed exist, today as of yesterday, and so does the "Scardo Society," but not by these na1nes. There is indeed a "plot against the people," and probably

always will be, for government has always been hostile towards the governed. It is not a new story, and the conspirators and conspiracies have varied fro1n era to era, depending on the political or econo1nic situation in their various countries. But it was not until the era of the League of Just Men and Karl Marx that conspirators and conspiracies beca1ne one, with one aim, one objective, and one detennination. This has nothing to do with any "ideology" or form of government, or ideals or "1naterialism" or any other catchphrases generously fed to the unthinking 1nasses. It has absolutely nothing to do with races or religions, for the conspirators are beyond what they call "such trivialities." They are also beyond good and evil. The Caesars they put into power are their creatures, whether they know it or not, and the peoples of all nations are helpless, whether they live in America, Europe, Russia, China, Africa, or South Alnerica. They will always be helpless until they are aware of their real enen1y. President John F. Kennedy knew what he was talking about

when he spoke of "the Gnon1es of Zurich." Perhaps he knew too 1nuch! Coups d'etat are an old story, but they are now growing too nu1nerous. This is probably the last hour for mankind as a rational species, before it becomes the slave of a "planned society." A bibliography ends this book, and I hope 1nany of 1ny readers will avail the1nselves of the facts. That is all the hope I have. TAYLOR CALDWELL

Part One


Much me1nocy or 1nemocy of 1nany things, is called experience. - Thomas Hobbes, OF MAN

Chapter 1 "Joey, Joey? 0 God! Joey?" his nlother cried out of her extre1nity and pain. "I'm here, Mum," said Joseph, holding her thin small hand tighter. "I won't leave you, Mu1n." She stared at him in the dimness, her eyes bright and distended and sparkling with terror. Joseph bent over her, the stool on which he sat rocking with the heavy laboring of the anchored ship. Her fingers squeezed his hand until they were like tight iron on his flesh. He felt the cold sharp tips. "Oh, Mum," he 1nurmured. "You'll be well, Mum." His crisp nlSset hair fell over his forehead and his ears and he shook it back. He was thirteen years old. "I'm dying, Joey," she said, and her weary young voice was hardly audible. "There's Sean, Joey, and the little colleen.

You'll take care of the1n, Joey, for himself? You'll mind them?" "You're not dying, Mun1," said Joseph. The eyes of his 1nother did not leave his face. Her gray lips had fallen open and they showed her delicate white teeth. Her little nose was thin and pinched and the nostrils blew in and out with her hurrying breath, and she panted. Her eyes asked him a desperate question, and they started fro1n under her glossy black brows. "Sure, and I'll mind the1n, Mum," he said. "Dad will meet us. You'll be well then." The most pathetic s1nile appeared on her mouth. "Good Joey," she whispered. "You were always a good boyeen. You're a 1nan, Joey." "Yes, Mum," he said. The fingers that clutched his hand had become icy, and not only the tips. His 1nother's thick black hair, as glossy as her brows, was strewn over the dirty pillows, and faintly shone in the light of the stinking and swaying lantern which hung fron1 the wooden ceiling. That

ceiling and the wet wooden walls sweated with an evil and oily moisture and the big n1asted ship creaked all about them. The coarse jute curtain at the end of the passage moved backwards and forwards with the slow lurching of the vessel. It was still light outside the four small portholes but little light entered here in the rancid steerage where fifty won1en and infants and little children slept on noxious bunks under thin and dingy blankets. The broken floor was soiled with the urine of children and scattered with sawdust thrown there for sanita1y purposes. It was very cold. The portholes were blurred with spray and the little heat and breath of the bodies of the wretched creatures within. The ship was a four-1naster which had left Queenstown, Ireland, over six weeks ago. By standing on tiptoe the tallest could see the shoreline and wharfs of New York, the wandering yellow lights, the faint gloomy illumination of lainps, and flittering shadows. Some of the steerage passengers had been rejected twenty-four hours ago in Boston. They were Irish. The majority of women and children on the hard bunks was

sick with cholera, Famine Fever and other illnesses caused by rotten food and moldy bread, and tuberculosis and pneumonia. There was a constant frail wailing in the air, as if disembodied. Older girl children slept in the upper bunks; the very sick slept in the lower, clutched against the sides of their starved 1nothers. The light darkened swiftly, for it was winter, and the cold increased. Joseph Francis Xavier Annagh felt and saw nothing but his dying mother, who was hardly thirty years old. He heard bitter crying near him and he knew it was his little brother, Sean, who was scarcely six. Sean was crying because he was perpetually hungry and cold and frightened. He had had his supper ten minutes before, a bowl of thin oatmeal and a slice of coarse dry bread which smelled of 1mce. Joseph did not turn to Sean. He did not hear the wailing of children and the weeping of the sick wo1nen in the steerage, nor did he look at the bunks which lined both sides of the narrow tilting deck. His mind and his passionate detennination were fixed only on his 1nother. He willed her to

live with a quiet cold will which no hunger, no destitution, no pain nor chill nor hatred could break. Joseph had eaten no supper at all, and had pushed aside the bowl which Sister Mary Bridget had entreated him to take. If he thought of anything extraneous but his mother now she would die. If he took his hand fro1n hers and his eyes fro1n her face, she would die. "They" would have killed her at last, Moira Annagh, who laughed when there was no occasion to laugh and valiantly prayed when there was no God to hear her. But Joseph dared not remember that there was no God, and he was afraid of mortal sin, and only a God could help Moira now-and the will of her son. The new baby had been born at 1nidnight, and the Sisters had taken her, and the old priest in the steerage-among the men beyond the swinging burlap curtain-had baptised the child and had named her, on Moira's whispered word, Mary Regina, which had been her dead mother's name. The child lay soundless in a cocoon of dirty blankets on the bunk of young Sister Bernardo who had given her a "sugar tit" to suck-a tied square of cotton in

which some sugar had been placed-for there was no 1nilk for such as those who traveled in the steerage. The child was too weak to cry; the young nun sat on the bunk near her and said her beads, then stood up as Father William O'Leary pushed aside the curtain and entered the quarters of the women and young children. The long passage became silent; even the sick children stopped crying. Mothers reached from the narrow bunks to touch his frayed black cassock. He had been sufillnoned by a Sister aboard, Sister Teresa, and he carried, very carefully, a worn and ancient leather bag in his hand. Old Sister Mary Bridget patted Joseph's en1aciated shoulder timidly. "Father is here, Joey," she said. But Joseph's head 1noved in strong negation. ''No," he replied, for he knew why the priest had come. He bent over his mother again. "Mum, you' ll be well," he said. But she was looking over his shoulder at the priest and the fevered brightness of her eyes increased with fear. Sister Mary Bridget stroked the young woman's arm. Joseph brushed her aside with ferocity, his own deep-set blue eyes shining with rage in the light of the

malodorous lanterns. "No! " he exclain1ed. "Go away! No!" He caught his breath with a choked sound. He wanted to hit the holy old woman, in her patched black garments. Her white coif, which had miraculously remained clean and stiff during these weeks, gliinmered in the semidarkness, and beneath it her wrinkled face worked in pity and there were tears on her cheeks. Joey gestured at the waiting priest, but did not look at him. "You will kill her!" he cried. "Go away." A spot of blackish oil fell from the ceiling above him and struck his cheek and left a smear as of old blood on its gauntness. It was the face of a grunly resolute nlan that looked at the old nun and not a boy of thirteen. One of the six nuns in the steerage had produced a small splintered table and this she set near Moira Annagh's head. "Come," said Sister Mary Bridget, and though she was old she was sinewy and strong, having been a fann girl in her youth. The hands that had held the reins of a horse, and the handles of a plow, and had dug and turned soil, were not to be denied, and Joseph was pushed, in spite of his resistance and

his firm seat on the stool, a foot or so along the side of the bunk. But he clutched his 1nother's cold hand as tightly as ever, and now he averted his head so that he would not even see her face and especially not the face of the priest, whom he now hated with cold and determined anger. "Joey," said Sister Mary Bridget in his ear, for he had seemed deaf these past hours, ''you won't deny your own 1nother Extre1ne Unction, will you, and deprive her of the comforting?" Joseph's voice, as hard and ruthless as his nature, rose on a great cry. He lifted his head now and stared at the ancient nun with passion. "And what has she to confess, my Mum?" he almost screamed. "What has she done in her life to make God hate her? How has she ever sinned? It is God who should confess!" A nun who had been spreading the table with an anonymous square of white cloth drew in her breath at this blasphen1y, and blessed herself. The other nuns did also, but

Sister Mary Bridget looked at Joseph with compassion and she folded her anns in her veil. The priest waited. He saw Joseph's face, so appallingly thin and white, the broad full forehead, the deep flashing eyes, the strong curved nose, the broad cheekbones on which ginger freckles were sprinkled lavishly, the long Irish lip and the wide narrow niouth. He saw the thick crest of the ruddy hair, its roughness, and the boy's thin tall neck, frail shoulders and slender, clever hands. He saw his frantic dishevelment, the poor white shirt and rude pantaloons and broken shoes. The priest's 1nouth shook; he waited. Grief, revolt, and hopeless fury were not new to him; he had seen them on too many calamitous occasions among his people. It was rare, however, to see then1 in one so young. Vermin ran up and down the curved wooden walls of the deck. There was a splashing sound outside in the quickening dusk. The children began to wail again. Fetid air blew through the curtain at the end of the deck and now so1ne 1nan on a bunk beyond the curtain began to play on a mouth organ, a dolorous Irish ballad, and a few hoarse voices hu1nmed the

chorus. The kneeling nuns began to murmur: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death-" "No, no, no! " shouted Joseph, and he beat the side of his inother 's bunk with one clenched fist. But he did not release his other hand from hers. His eyes were blue fire. They could hear his disordered breathing above the mouth organ and the singing voices of the men. His face was pulled into a terrible distortion in his agony. He half-crouched over his inother as if to protect her from nlortal enemies, and he glared at the priest and the nuns with the utmost and most intense defiance and rage. But Moira Annagh lay in mute exhaustion. The priest silently opened his case and his ancient hands trembled with age and sorrow and reverence. Joseph's eyes now fastened on him and his pale lips lifted fro1n his big teeth in a soundless snarl. "Joey," said Moira in the faintest of dying voices. "Go away," Joseph said to the priest. "If she receives she will die."

"Joey," said Moira and her hand stirred in his. Joseph's eyes closed on a spasm, and then he slipped to his knees, not in piety but only in weak surrender. He put his head down near his mother's shoulder, near the young breast which had once nourished him, and her hand touched his hair with the gentle brushing of a wing, then fell. He held her other hand as if to withhold her from the darkness and the endless silence which he believed lay beyond life. He had seen inany die, as young and innocent and as starving and brutalized as his inother, and helpless infants crying for food and old women gnawing their hands for hunger. He could not forgive God. He could no longer believe. He had only hate and despair to sustain him now, to give him courage. A heavy mist was rising from the cold sea and inelancholy horns began to inoan in the harbor. The ship rocked. "I'll take ye to your home again," sang the men beyond the curtain, "to where the grass is fresh and green!" They sang of the land they had loved and left, because there was no bread there any longer to satisfy the body, and only rotting and blackened

potatoes in the wet and ravished fields, and they sang with deep melancholy and sadness, and one man sobbed, and another groaned. Women's heads lifted fro1n rank pillows to watch the priest solenmly, the hands raised to bless meager breasts, and there was a 1nuffled blurt of weeping. A 1nurmurous sound rose, the Litany for the Dying, and the kneeling nuns and the priest fonned a s1nall half-circle about Moira Annagh's narrow bed. Beyond the half-circle little children raced and squalled and stopped briefly to stare at the black bent bodies, and then continued to pound up and down the wooden and reeking floor, scattering clouds of rank sawdust. From the deck below son1e cattle lowed. A night wind was rising and the vessel rocked uneasily and the foghon1s moaned like a hell of the possessed. The priest had placed a candle upon the little table and had lighted it, and near it stood a worn wooden crucifix with a yellow ivo1y Corpus. There was the bottle of holy water, a saucer of oil, and a small dish in which the priest washed his tremulous hands, and a nun reached up to give him a clean and ragged

towel. The old inan leaned over Moira and looked into her eyes, on which a film was rapidly gathering. She gazed at him in a mute plea, and her mouth stood open with her panting. He said in the gentlest voice, "Peace be to this house--You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, 0 Lord, and I shall be clean. You shall wash nle, and I shall be whiter than snow-" "No, no," whispered Joseph, and his head nestled deeper against his nlother's breast and he frenziedly clutched her hand even tighter. The Litany for the Dying rose clearer and stronger as Moira sank into darkness, and now she could not see but only hear. Some wo1nan, not as sick as the others, had drawn little Sean to her bunk on the opposite side of the deck, and she held hi1n there as she knelt, and he clutched her arm and whimpered in bewilderment, "Mum, Mum?" Joseph held his mother, praying and blasphen1ing in his boy's heart, and believed that he could bar the way into death by the strength of his young body and his silent inner cries. All beca1ne a 1nurky and anguished confusion. A fainting sickness can1e to him. He, from the comer of his half-shut

eyes, saw the flickering of the candle, and it greatly enlarged so that it became a monstrous and moving yellow blur at once nauseating and dizzying. The lanterns swayed and threw down their shifting pallid light and the stench of offal flowed through the deck fron1 the two wooden latrines that stood between the men's and won1en's quarters. Timber groaned. Joseph drifted into a hazy dream of pain and despair. The priest administered the Sacran1ent of Extre1ne Unction and Viaticum to the dying woman, whose white lips barely 1noved in her extre1nity. Then the priest said, "Go forth from this world, 0 Christian soul-" Joseph did not hear this. He was saying to his father, Daniel, who was to 1neet his little family in New York, "I brought her to you, Dad, and Sean and the little colleen, and now you and I will take care of the1n, in the house you provided, and we 'll be free and never hungry or homeless again. No one will hate us and drive us from our land and tell us to starve-Dad, we've come home to you." It was real to him, for he had dreamt that scene a thousand

times on this sorrowful voyage. His father, his young fair father with the singing voice and the strong thin anns and the gay laughter, would n1eet his family on the dock and enfold them all, and then he would take them to the "flat" in the Bowery where he lived with his brother, Jack, and it would be war1n and there would be soft beds and a hot stove and joy and the fragrance of boiling potatoes and turnips and beef or lamb and Moira's light songs and, above all, safety and comfort and peace and hope. Had they not received letters fro1n hiin, and n1oney, and had he not told them of this? He had a good job as janitor in a s1nall hotel. He ate to repletion for the first tin1e in years. He worked hard, and received 1noney for his labor. He would provide for his family, and no 1nore would they be hunted like vermin and despised and execrated for their Faith, and thrown from their land to die on the highways of exposure and hunger. "Ah, and it is a land for free 1nen," Daniel had written in his careful hand. "The lads will go to school, and the little one will be born in America, and we will be Alnericans together, and never part again."

The dying woman suddenly moved so convulsively that Joseph's drea1n abn1ptly ended, and he lifted his head. His 1nother's eyes, no longer filn1ed and dull, were gazing over his shoulder with an expression of profound joy and surprise, and her gray face flashed with life and rapture. "Danny, Danny!" she cried. "Oh, Danny, you' ve con1e for us! " She lifted her am1s, wrenching her hand from Joseph, and they were the arms of a bride, rejoicing. She 1nurmured son1ething deep in her throat, confiding, half-laughing, as though she were being embraced by a dearly beloved. Then the light faded from her eyes and her face, and she died between one breath and another, though the smile remained, triumphant and fulfilled. Her eyes still stared over Joseph's shoulder. Her glossy black hair was like a shawl about her face and shoulders. Joseph knelt beside her, no longer conscious of any pain or grief or rebellion or despair. All was ended, and he was emptied and there was nothing else. He watched old Sister Mary Bridget close those staring eyes and fold those rough

and little hands across the quiet breast. The nun reached under the blankets and con1posed the long legs. She was one of the company of the Sisters of Charity in this steerage, but even she winced as the back of her hands and her fingers encountered the blood-soaked and vermin-infested straw 1nattress. So, much blood from so young and fragile a bodybut at last the girl was at peace, safe in the anns of Our Lord who had co1ne for His lan1b. The nun gently drew the blanket over the smiling face and it seemed to her that it still glowed with joy. Sister Mary Bridget, who had seen so much death and so 1nuch torment and so much hopelessness, wept a little in spite of her stoicis1n. The priest and the nuns were muttering half-heard prayers, but Joseph stood up. He tottered for a moment like an old 1nan, then straightened stiffly. His face was as gray as the face of his dead mother. At the end-and as usual-God had betrayed the innocent and had left the1n comfortless. Joseph knew only one desire now-vengeance on God and on life.

He crossed the aisle between the teeming bunks and without a word he took the dirty hand of his young brother and led him fro1n the steerage section of the women and young children. He pushed aside the ragged cloth that hid one of the latrines-a mere wooden affair like a country privy, and stinking beyond endurance-and he signed to Sean to use the hole. He helped the child let down his pantaloons-which were belted with rope-and assisted him onto the narrow shelf, and he was not aware of the stench but only stared at the wooden walls and saw nothing. "Mun1, Mum?" Sean whispered. Joseph put his hand on the child's shoulder, not in comfort but in restraint, and Sean looked up at him blankly. He followed Joseph into the men's quarters, and the 1nen were silent and no longer sang, but gazed at the two boys in speechless pity. Joseph did not see their pallid and emaciated faces, both young and old. He had gone beyond them. They hoped, but he had no hope. He was as ren1oved fro1n the1n as a stone image is removed from life. It see1ned to him that he was filled with echoes, and he had only endurance left and

one absolute resolution: To deliver the family to his father. He ren1oved Sean's pantaloons and shirt and shoes, leaving him dressed only in ragged underdrawers and damed long black stockings. He pushed the child down on the dark and smelly blanket and the stained striped pillow. Sean's large blue eyes questioned him in silence. Joseph had always been a fonnidable older brother who knew all things and must be obeyed, but was ever ready with a kind brief word and encouragement. Joseph had taken care of the family since his father had left for America nearly eight 1nonths before. Even 1nore than the father had Joseph been the head of the house, his mother's guardian, the protector of a brother. Sean trusted Joseph as he trusted no one else, and leaned on that indomitable strength. The child did not know this new Joseph, so fixed and implacable of feature, so frighteningly silent. The lantern light swan1 over that austere face and then retreated as it swung, and Sean was afraid and whiinpered agam. "Hush," said Joseph.

Unlike Joseph, Sean was a delicately n1ade child, with thin bones and long, and translucent flesh, easily flushed, easily wanned, easily expressing radiance of mind and body. He resembled his young father, Daniel Padraic Armagh, who awaited his family in New York. Daniel's fairness had incited the suspicion in Ireland that he had some Sassenagh blood in him, and he had had to fight with fury to disprove this evil and insulting canard. He, with English blood! May God forgive the sinners who said this, though he would not! Sean had inherited his aristocracy of flesh, his fine golden hair, his patrician features, his hesitant, channing smile with lips that were softly colored, his dimpled left cheek, his air of gaiety and tn1st and joyful abandon, his iinpertinently tilted nose, his thick fair brows and milky skin, his quickness and eagerness, and his pale large blue eyes. Father and son possessed a graceful elegance which the tall but sturdier Joseph did not. Even patched pantaloons and ragged shirts acquired a smooth charm when they assu1ned them, while Joseph's clothes were 1nerely utilitarian over an impatient body hurrying to

acco1nplish something or to set things to rights. Daniel and little Sean spoke softly and beguilingly, in the way of enchanters, but Joseph spoke abruptly for he was, instinctively, always pressed for tune. Daniel, and Sean, believed that life was to be enjoyed. Joseph believed it was to be used. He loved and honored his father, but had never been unaware of the happy faults Daniel possessed, the procrastination, the belief that men were better than they obviously were, the optimism in the face of the most appalling and cruel disaster. It was Joseph who had said to his father, eight n1onths ago when he had still been only twelve years old. "Go to Uncle Jack, in that New York, Dada, for we will die here, I am thinking, and there is no future on this land." Even the Famine had not stirred Daniel overmuch. To1norrow would be infinitely better. God would perform a 1niracle and the black and soaking fields would flourish again with white fat potatoes and the com would rise and the hearths would be red with peat fires, and there would be lamb

stew in the pot and a bit of bacon for breakfast, with rich eggs and oat cakes, and there would be new thick blankets and the languishing fn1it trees would be heavy with apples and pears and cherries-in short, there would be a blessed tomorrow. "We can't wait," Joseph had said. "We are starving." "Ye have no faith," said Daniel. "Ye are a hard boyo." "There is no bread and no potatoes and no n1eat," said Joseph. "God will provide," said Daniel kindly, and with a large paten1al gesture. "He has not provided, and Ireland is dying of hunger," said young Joseph. "Uncle Jack has sent you the money, may the saints bless him, and you must go to America." Daniel had shaken his head with loving admonition at his older son. "Joey, you are a hard man, and I say this though you are still a lad." He looked at Joseph who had stared back at hin1 with his relentless and darker blue eyes. Within two weeks Daniel was weepingly on the way to Queenstown to the ship for Alnerica. He einbraced his beautiful Moira and

his son, Sean, but had avoided looking directly at Joseph. At the last Joseph stiffiy extended his hand to his father and the tender-hearted Daniel had taken it, and with a little sudden fear. "May the wind be always at your back, Dad," said Joseph, and Daniel, suddenly feeling far younger than his son, replied, "Thank ye, Joey." He had then stood tall and fair and beautiful, like a knight, his eyes fixed on a glorious future. " It is said that in America the streets are paved with gold!" he exclaimed, and had smiled his radiant happy s1nile. "A11d some of it will be 1nine, I am praying!" He had been imbued, then, with magnificent hope and animation, and Joseph had gazed at hin1 with the reluctant pity such as an adult bestows on a buoyant child who knows nothing of life and nothing at all of terror. Daniel saw 1nansions and black horses and phaetons and curved green lawns and clinking gold pieces, and Joseph saw a rich Irish stew of potatoes and lamb and hirnips and parsnips and a warm shelter free from alanns in the night and street-murder and starving hordes of men and wo1nen and children on the

1nuddy highways of a desolate Ireland. Daniel saw ease and fawn-colored pantaloons and a shining tall hat and a cravat with a pin of pearl and diamonds, and a walking stick of gold and a swagger, and Joseph saw nights without the brutal fist at the door and desecrated churches and the hiding in the bogs with a priest who had a terrified face. Daniel saw big warm roo1ns glinting with candlelight and Joseph saw chapels where the Host was not stamped upon and a man could walk free to the worship he desired. In short, Daniel saw joy, and Joseph saw liberty, and only Joseph suspected that they were one and the same. At the final nioment before parting Daniel had smiled wannly but with unease, at his older son, "I pray you are not a Covenanter, Joey." Joseph's pale lips had contracted at this insult. "Dada," he had replied, "I do not believe in drean1s. I believe in what a 1nan can do-" "With the Grace of God," said Daniel, dutifully blessing himself. Joseph s1niled grimly. The blessing was automatic

and graceful, and therefore meant nothing. It was the gesture of a pagan. "With the grace of will," said young Joseph. Moira had watched this encounter with anxious eyes, then she had embraced Daniel and her tears caine. "Joey will be the man whilst you are working for us, Danny," she said. "It's afraid, I am, that he was always the man," said Daniel and his gaiety left his face and he looked earnestly at his older son, and with a curious sad respect mixed with self-reproach. He knew that Joseph had considered hi1n at least partly at fault for being unable to retain Moira's inheritance of some thirty acres of lai1d, five head of cattle, two horses, a flock of chickens and rich soil which could bear good potatoes and other vegetables and grain, and a small, tight thatched cottage in the midst of it all, with sound outbuildings. The Fa1nine had not struck here too harshly in the first years and the village nearby had not been too stricken then. Daniel had been an optin1istic farmer. When the potatoes and other vegetables rotted in the black and sodden fields and the rain never ceased, the sun would be wann in a few days

and new crops could be sowed. When the cows ceased to give 1nilk, sure and they would soon be freshened. When the trees bore little fn1it, the next year their boughs would be bending with the harvest. When the Sassenagh taxgatherers became brutally insistent Daniel talked with them in shining friendship in the pub, and paid for their poteen and smiled into their scowling faces. Next spring he would have more than enough for two years' of taxes! A little time, gentlemen, he would say with that large eloquent wave of his arm and a conciliatory twinkle on his handso1ne face. Daniel was also a 1nillwright. When the Sassenaghs suggested that he go to Limerick and seek employment he smiled at them with incredulous indulgence. "I am a farmer, sirs!" he exclaimed, and waited for the1n to smile in return, but their scowls deepened. "A bad fanner, Annagh," one answered. "You paid but a portion of your taxes two years ago, and a year ago you paid none, and you have no 1noney this year either. Like all the Irish you are improvident, careless, roistering, and sanguine.

We know of the Famine. Who does not? The Irish wail about it without ceasing. But-what do you do?" Daniel's face darkened and beca1ne somber and very changed, and his fainily would not have recognized it, nor would he, for suddenly he faced reality. "Now, you must tell me, sirs," he said and his 1nelodious voice was rough. "The whole land has been cursed by an evil, and what can we do? We can only wait for it to pass, like all evils. We cannot hurry ti1ne, gentle1nen. What would you have us do? You have said I must go to Limerick and work at 1ny trade. Matters, I have heard, are very bad in Limerick, and there is starvation there." "There is work at your trade, in England," said another of the taxgatherers. A white shadow struck Daniel's mouth and his pale blue eyes narrowed. He said with the utlnost quiet, "Had ye asked 1ne to go to hell to work, gentlemen, you could have said nothing more insulting." He had thrown down his last shillings on the table and had risen with dignity and had left.

As he 11ad walked ho1ne in the dark and teeming twilight 11is optimis1n retun1ed, and he chuckled. He had had the Sassenaghs there! He would forget them at once, for they were not worth reme1nbering. He had begun to wl1istle, 11is hands in his pockets, his head tilted, his woolen cap at an angle. Moira would laugh when he told 11er. And ton1orrow, surely, this iniserable day would be ii1 the past and the future would open again, beaming, and the fields wot1ld dry and the Fa1nine be over. Joseph reme1nbered the tellii1g that evening, and he reme1nbered his n1other's wide and alanned eyes and the way she bit her lip. But Daniel was endearing, and she went into 11is arms and kissed hiin and agreed with him that he had bee11 a fine boyo and that he had crushed the Sassenagh with 11is haughty words, and see, was not that the inoon between that rack of black clouds, an on1en for the morning's st1n? Joseph, in the chimney comer with Sean, who1n he was teaching his letters, had watcl1ed 11is pare11ts and his you11g lip had lifted with mi11gled scorn and dread. He knew that his

1nother knew all about her husband. He would not add to her dejection with tl1e sharp and blunt questions he wished to throw at his father, who was jat1ntily munching on a piece of dark bread and basking in the admiration of his beautiful young wife, and shaking his wet frayed coat in the small war1nth of the peat fire 011 the hearth. The white plastered walls were stained with damp; there were cracks ii1 the ceiling and on the walls. Daniel never saw these things; it never occurred to hiin to repair them. He co11stantly spoke of the larger stone hot1se he would build-"soon"-and the slate roof. The money? It wot1ld come. The next harvest would be 1nore than botmtiful. There was a good piece of lamb boiling in the pot tonight, though unacco1npanied by potatoes, and the turnip cooking with it was plentiful, still, and before the last four turnips were consu1ned God, in His goodness and providence, would provide. The brick floor was cold and dainp, as always, and the rush chairs needed repairing, though covered with the gay little cushions Moira had made fro1n a last bolt of clotl1, and the

table was carefully spread with the colorful plates and ct1ps she 11ad inherited, and there was tea simmering in the brown earthenware pot on the hob. The feather-beds were still intact, and there were blankets, and Dai1iel saw: no farther thai1 these, for he believed that fate was kind and one had only to endt1re in patience. Had Daniel been a fool Joseph could have forgiven him. Had he been illiterate, as were so many of his neighbors, there would have been an excuse for his hopeful folly. Fools ai1d illiterates looked no farther than the 1noment's comfort. But Daniel was not a fool. There was poetry in his 11eart and 011 his tongue, and he had had the adva11tage of atte11ding a Sisters' school in his original home ii1 Limerick for eight or 1nore years. He had a little store of cherished books whicl1 some priest had given him, books of history and literatt1re. He had read them over and over, especially the books on the history and glory of Old Ireland. He could quote passages at will, and with passion and fervor and pride. So, there was no excuse for his refi1sal to face reality and his confidence in

some happy to1norrow. Daniel also had faith in God. It was not the faith Moira had, devout, a little fearfi1l of sin, and possessed of an enduring steadfastness. Rather, it was a gay faith, as lavish and as expansive as hi1nself. He could readily conceive of mercy, but not of jt1stice and retribt1tion. God was a benevolent Father, and in partict1lar He loved the Irish, so what harm could come to their dear land and this dear people so trusting of Him? One, Daniel had said earnestly to Joseph-in whom eve11 he suspected cynicism-had only to lie in the anns of Our Lord, like lambs, ai1d He would care for His little ones. Joseph had said, "And the 'little ones' who are dying, we are hearing, of the Famii1e on the roads, and the priests who are 11unted like 1nad dogs, and the hangings we are ki1owii1g, and the desecratio11 of the cht1rches, and the beating of women and the little colleens ii1 the cities when they cry of 11unger and beg in the streets?" Daniel had shaken his head gravely. "We hear, but have we seen? St1re, we know it is very bad, but men will 1nake big

tales of little matters. The Faith is attacked by t11e Sassenagh, who, poor soul, believes that if it is killed we shall be more hu1nble and willing to serve in the Sassenagh's anny and work in his n1ines and his fields and manufactories, and receive little for our labor. But God is stronger than the Sassenagh and his Qt1een in London Town, ai1d He will not desert us." Then some of the starving, what was left of them, had come to the village of Can1ey, and a number had lain in Daniel's rotting fields and had sought shelter ii1 his barns and had begged him for bread-which he no longer had. They had lifted their lin1p infants to him, and the babes 11ad sucked their 11ands greedily, and they were all eyes in small sunken faces, and the old 1nen and wo1nen were too weak to walk any longer. Among tl1e1n were two or three priests, as starveling as themselves, ai1d they spoke of terror in the other counties and in the towns and cities, and the scaffolds and bloody 1nt1rder ill the streets, and the proscription of tl1e Faith. Those who had taken refuge on Daniel's fann were ragged, and

thot1gh it was winter they had no coats or shawls or gloves, and their boots were broken and their flesh frost-bitten, and their bodies and faces were those of skeletons. And he had 11othing to give them but the cold shelter of his barns, and they stayed there ai1d they died, one by one. Before they died, these destih1te ai1d homeless, Moira and Daniel and Joseph 11ad gone to neighbors in1ploring any help at all, but the neighbors had their own famine-stricken in their empty ban1s and could only weep with the Armaghs. The village was starving also. The shopkeepers had little to sell, even if there had been, pot1nds and shillii1gs and pence. The land was not producing; it was black and wet ai1d dead, and the Sassenagh wot1ld not send his wheat and meat to save the survivors in the land he hated. His sovereign, Qt1een Victoria, regretting that the Irish Rising had not materialized after all, had written to King Leopold of Belgium to the effect that if the Rising had occurred, the trouble-making Irish would then have been destroyed once and for all, "to teach tl1em a lesson." (Her own Prime Minister had hoped for such a fatal

insurrection so that the Celt would finally perish, and a new Plantation, settled by the English, wot1ld flourish in Ireland. He had not looked kindly on tl1e foreign sl1ips, even from I11dia, which had brought son1e food to the dying land, and he had spoken to ambassadors with contemptuot1s hat1teur.) The desperate Irish leaders had been publicly hanged in Dublin and Litnerick, after a farce of a trial. Priests fled and hid it1 hedgerows and in ditches for their very lives. Nt1ns were driven in derision through the towns, yoked together like oxen. Many were violated by soldiers and thrown fro1n their convents and then· schools, to die and starve with tl1eir people on the higl1ways. It was a fearsome thing and Daniel Arn1agh faced reality for one of the few times in his life and he knew a brief despair. However, the mood did not last too long in spite of all the evidences of disaster. But Joseph heard and his young soul had hardened and quickened. Dai1iel's brother, Jack Armagh, had gone to America five years ago and worked on the steaincars in the State of New York and he, in solicitude, tl1ougl1 poor hi1nself, had Sent

Daniel son1e dollars in gold and Daniel had exclaimed with joy and had cried, " Sure, and I never lost hope and here is the Mercy in our hands, and all will be well!" He had then gone to Limerick on the coach and had reh1med with a basket of bread and so1ne eggs and a little lainb ai1d bacon and a few gnarled vegetables, and he was as ebullient as ever though the dead lay buried at the botto1n of his garden, unshriven and as dry as juiceless twigs, mother with babe in her withered anns, old husbands and wives pressed together. Dai1iel remembered them at Mass each mo1ning, but it was as if they had never tn1ly lived and had died in his barren barns.

Chapter 2 Joseph, now sitting on the edge of the bu11k where his little brother slept witl1 tears on his wan cheeks, remembered all the dolorot1s suffering of Ireland and his father who waited for his fan1ily. He ren1e1nbered, also, that the English Queen had co11temph1ot1sly offered 1nt1ltitudes of the Irish free passage to America to escape starvation and oppressio11; it was evident that she co11sidered America still a penal, colony as her grandfather had so considered it, and still a British possession though a worthless one. The 1nultitudes who had no alternative but death and bn1tality and starvation had fled their stricken land, witl1 weeping. But Daniel's brother had se11t passage money for the steerage. Daniel, 11opeft1l always, 11ad hesitated. Sure and matters were not so evil now in

Irelai1d. Some farms were prodt1cing again. It was "best to wait." The Sassenagh was tiring of his vindictiveness. Then the little fan1ily was evicted for taxes and a cot1sin of Moira's in Carney took the1n ii1to his crowded small cottage. For once Daniel was more discreet. He did not squander the passage money. He shared a portion of it with Moira's cousin for necessary bread and a 11andful of vegetables-halfrotten-once a week, and a slab of bacon. When that was gone, and the passage 1noney ii1 da11ger, Joseph had confronted his fatl1er. Moira had not told her 11usband that only yesterday ru1 English soldier had accosted her in the 1nain street of Carney, that little village, and tl1at when he had dragged insistently on her shawl she had struck hi1n in the face witl1 her last strength. He had punched her, then, in the breast until she screan1ed in agony, ru1d then 11ad kicked her to the stones, and had left her, shouting with 1nirth and execratio11s and foul epithets. Moira's cot1sin's wife had seen this, and had assisted tl1e weeping crouched woman hon1e, and Moira had begged her not to tell Daniel, and Joseph had

11eard. ·T he shawl was moved aside, and the buttons of the ragged bodice opened, and Joseph saw the black and pt1rple bruises on his mother's young white flesh, so slnu11ken with starvation now, and he had clenched his fists and he had known his first lt1st to kill. So Daniel, packing his few clothes ii1 a black cardboard portmanteau, had left his country with tears in his eyes, and l1ad glanced for the last time at his son, Joseph, who seemed to hi1n to be an old and unrelenting 1nan and not a child, and the innocent reproach in Daniel's eyes had not touched Joseph at all. For fear that his father 1night tun1 back at tl1e very last Joseph had accompanied Daniel to tl1e pt1b in the stark cold wet dawn, and there had waited with him for the coach to Queenstown, and the ship. The rain struck their faces and Daniel had tried to wl1istle, but it was a sad sound. When the coach rumbled up, and Daniel had thrown his luggage on the roof, the father had turned to his son and said, "Ye will be the father to your motl1er and Sean, Joey, and bring them to me in America."

"Yes, Dad," said the boy. He looked at the four great 11orses, stea1ning and stamping in the half-light, their hides agleam with water and sweat, and at the white faces staring throt1gh t11e n1nning windows at the new passenger. The coachinan cracked his whip and it was a cutting sound n1 the village silence, and Daniel had hesitated for a final word, and then had sn1iled his radiant s1nile, cliinbed into the coach, and was gone. It was as if, to Joseph, a charn1ing bt1t incompetent older brother had departed, a11d he shook his raii1-wet head and s1niled a little in love and reluctru1t indulgence. He knew that the charming and the lovable had their place in life, but it was a trivial place and the first to be shattered when disaster stn1ck. It was a village of ginger bread, where they lived and had their uncertain being, and the roofs were only sugar-icing. They were like flowers, the adormne11t of gardens, and so were not to be despised, except when life demanded that food be planted in their place for sustenance. If they were then uprooted, it was sorrowft1l but n1evitable. Joseph did not fault the1n. They had been born so.

Now, as he sat with his little brother, Sean, who was fitft1lly sleeping, he feared that Sean was too like the father ru1d he vowed in his desolate and emptied heart that he wot1ld teach Sean to face truth withot1t feru·, ru1d despair with resolt1tio11, and to despise false words of hope. The world was ru1 evil place, and did not he, Joseph, ki1ow it surely? It was a dangerous place. Only courage and will could conquer it or at least cow it so that it withdrew from a man's throat with a snru·l and crawled away for a ti1ne 011 its belly. But it always waited and lurked for a n101nent of weakness 011 the part of its victims, a mo1nent of expansive optiinism and buoyancy and belief in a rainbowed future. The11 it struck tl1e fools to the death. Joseph had read his father 's books, not with Daniel's interpretation that inan became better and nations more civilized as time passed, bt1t with cy11ical u11derstanding. Tyranny was inan's nah1ral mode of governn1ent and his secret desire, and liberty was always threatened by men, themselves, through their governments a11d throt1gh their easy acquiescence and lack of fortitude. On realizing this, Joseph

became a 1nan and was no longer a child or even a youth. Joseph sat in the deepeni11g cold of tl1e 1nen's portion of the deck, and tl1ougl1t. The sick moaned in their pain-racked sleep. The 1nen no longer sang, but sat m11tely side by side 011 the lower bunks, their heads and hands hanging, or they, too, slept. The ship groaned and creaked. The cattle below lowed uneasily. Joseph sat near his sleeping little brother, his eyes fixed, almost witho11t blinking, on the gritty deck beneath 11is feet. Where would they go, now? Where would they be permitted to land, if ever? Joseph knew of the many little ships that had put out from Ireland d11ring the Fami11e, 011ly to be broken 011 reefs or to founder in the ocean, or to bring a dying cargo back to tl1e stricken shore. He knew that a half or 1nore of those who had sailed for America on great ships had died before their arrival of disease and Fan1ine Fever and slow starvation, and 11ad been b11ried at sea. (Many of those 011 this ship had s11ffered that and had been lowered quickly into the water at night, accompanied only by the prayers of the old priest and the Sisters.) Tl1e survivors, he had learned,

11ad been forced to take shelter in cold sheds on the wharf, there to suffer or die without food or water or warm clothing, until "a11thorities" co11ld determine whether or not they were a danger to the cities with their cholera ai1d "cons11mption" and fever. The healthy, and the lucky, then had been permitted to join relatives and friends who waited for them and who could take the1n to wa11nth and fires and food. The dead were shoveled into 1nass graves, anony1nous and forgotten. Many of the ships, too, had bee11 turned back at various ports in America. They were i1ot wanted. They were the destitute a11d the starveling, and they were "Ro1nans" and Irish and trouble1nakers and stra11ge. The Religious were especially despised and secretly feared. Was Daniel Armagh still waiti11g for his fa1nily on the wharf in New York? Did he know they had been rejected, and could not land? It was winter: Was he standing at the door of one of the sheds and staring hopelessly at the big anchored ship with its slack sails and its wet fortress-like hull? Was he doing, tho11ght Joseph with an acrid taste of bitterness in his

1not1th, anything at all for his imprisoned family except praying? Did he know that 11is yot1ng wife was dead? Dead. Joseph squeezed his dry eyes shut and his chest became tight and smothering with his huge hatred and sorrow. Oh, Mum, 11e said in himself. They could not consign her to the ocean in the 11arbor. They wot1ld wait m1til they were at sea, again. They would bind her in a ragged blanket and fasten her body to a thin frame of wood, and she would go il1to the cold and black11ess of the water just as her soul was in the cold blackness of nothingness now. But he dared not think of this yet. There was the inunediate calamity to be faced. Wot1ld they be returned to Ireland, and would they then all perish inevitably on the way back, or 011 landi11g? Joseph did not ask hin1self: "Is there no pity and 1nercy an1ong 1nen, no help for the helpless, 110 jt1stice for the innoce11t?" That question was for 1nen like his father and those who had unrealistic hope, and the weak and sentimental and stupid. The real question confronted hin1: How was he to assure tl1e survival of his brother and his infant sister, and

11imself? If he were alone or had only Sean to consider he 1night co11trive, in the 1norning just before dawn, to steal from the ship when it moved to the wharfs to unload the cattle and the passengers who comfortably traveled on the upper decks, fro1n which steerage passengers were excluded. Authorities were not too difficult to circumvent, if one asst1med a confide11t and assured appearance a11d was clean and quiet. However, there was the baby, and even the dt1llest of at1thorities would be curious about a youth with an infai1t in his anns, a11d accompanied by a young child also, vvith 110 appare11t guardians. Though he, Joseph, could doubtless 1nanage to provide some food ai1d shelter for two boys, the little girl needed womanly comfort a11d care, and where were these to be fot1nd for the derelict? A sick man nearby began to cough violently, and at once the suffering and restless sleepers about hiln stirred and began to cough also, in tearing and rasping and spitting chon1s. One by one the convulsion of misery spread through the 1nen's quarters, then was taken up by the women and children

beyond the jute c11rtain, until the dolorous echoes went back and forth incessantly. Only one lantern had been left lighted in the men's q11arters and it eiilianced the cold and shifting dimness rather than relieved it. Joseph re1nained 11naware, except that he h1cked tl1e blanket closer about his sleeping brother. He, himself, had not put on his thin coat; he sat in his shirt ai1d traced, over and over, a stain on the ki1ee of 11is pantaloons with his index finger. His inind was one i11tensity and focus on his predicainent. Weeks ago, at the beginni11g of the journey, he had felt compassio11 for his fellow travelers, especially the children, and fear that his fa1nily nlight acq11ire one of their diseases. But now his compassion was n1thlessly quelled in his own struggle to survive. He had no ti1ne eve11 for grief or despair. The four portl1oles began to en1erge grayly fron1 the gloom as dawn approached. The stench from unwashed and dying bodies and from the latrines filled the cold dank air. The wooden ceiling dripped. The sawdust on the floor was sn1eared 01ninously with the blood fro1n diseased 111ngs.

Joseph traced the stain on his knee with rising quickness. His strong ai1d n1sset hair hung in ragged points over his forehead and ears and neck. He felt a touch on his shoulder and looked up with blank and su11ken eyes. Old Father O'Leary was standing before him, in his long nightshirt. "You haven't been to bed," said the priest. "Stire, ai1d you will be sick, too, if ye do not rest, Joey." "How will we let 1ny father know we ca1n1ot leave the ship?" asked Joseph. "In the morning, I will go ashore it is permitted for me for a11 hour-and I will find Danny and tell hin1, and we should know, then, where we are going. It is to Philadelphia, I think, and let us pray that they will permit 11s to land. Joey you 1n11st rest for a bit." "Philadelphia?" said Joseph. "Is it far from New York? It 11as a pretty sound." The old priest smiled painfully, his ancient and haggard face falli11g into deep gray lines. His shock of white hair was

disheveled and as ragged as Joseph's, and his nightshirt dragged on his skeleton body. "Philadelphia," he said. "It 1nea.J.1s the City of Brotherly Love. Pray they will have some ' love' for us, Joey. We nlust trust in God-" A flick of wild impatience touched Joseph's eyes. "If it is far, how then will nly father reach us and take us ho1ne to New York?" "Trust in God,'' said the priest. "Nothing is impossible witl1 Hun. Joey, there is some hot tea the wo1nen are brewing, ai1d I will bring you a cup, and then you must rest awhile." "We will travel to New York," said Joseph. "I have fiftee11 dolla.J.·s, which my mother gave to me for keeping." It was as if he were speaking aloud to hi1nself, and the priest's face trembled with sorrow a.J.1d pity. "It is a lot of money, Joey," he said. "Be comforted. I have spoke11 to a sea.J.nan and he will bring some milk for the baby before the cattle are taken ashore, if he can 1nanage to steal below. I gave him four shilli11gs." "I will repay you, Father," said the boy. He looked down at

11is sleeping brother. Was the child's face flt1shed with fever? Joseph touched his cheek. "When will they throw 1ny 1notl1er into tl1e sea?" asked the boy raising his head and staring at the priest. "Joey," said Father O'Leary, ai1d he felt a pang of fear for the boy for this dead composure was u1n1atural. He had not shown a tear or displayed a.J.1y a.J.1guish. "It is only your 1nother's body, but her soul is with God and His Blessed Mother. Let that co1nfort you, that her earthly paii1 and striving are over, and sl1e is at peace. I 11ave known her since she was a babe, and I baptised her, and never was a sweeter colleen and a woman. Her memory will bless you, and from the radiance of heaven she sends her love to you." "It will be wl1en we sail, will it not?" said Joseph. "You 1nt1st let nle know." Notl1ing stirred on his face nor in his da.J.·k blue eyes, so gritty now with black fatigue. "I will, that, Joey," said the priest, and again he touched Joseph's shot1lder timidly. Bt1t it was like tot1chi11g rigid stone. "Will ye join me in prayer for yot1r mother?"

"No," said Joseph. His young voice was the voice of a man, and indifferent. "It is that you believe she has no need of prayer, my child?" "There are steamcars from Philadelphia to New York, are there not?" said Joseph. "To be sure, Joey. All will be well, if we trust in Our Lord. Joey, it is cold. Put on yo11r coat. And tl1e sea1nen will be bringing our breakfast before we sail." He 11elplessly patted the boy's shoulder, then sighing he h1rned away, for a sick man had weakly called hi1n in his extre1nity. He wore old carpet slippers and he shuffled on the sooty floor. Out of exhaustion, the coughers were now quiet and son1e were lifting tl1e1nselves on their elbows, or rising and shainbling to the latrines. Joseph felt for the packet whicl1 hu11g on a string around his neck, and agaii1st his chest. The gold certificates were safe. Fifteen dollars. Three po11nds. It was a lot of money which his father 11ad se11t to the frunily before they had left Ireland. And his wages were but two pounds a week. It had taken Daniel Annagh several nionths to

accmn11late s11ch a sum. One porthole was suddenly rosy with dawn, and Joseph stood up on his tiptoes and looked 011tside. Almost imperceptibly the ship was moving to a pier among a forest of bare inasts and crowded hulls. Sailors were already working on the anchored sl1ips, and their rude hoarse voices came faintly to Joseph whose face was pressed against the saltcn1sted thick glass of the porthole. The slow oily water of the harbor was black and sl11ggish, but its small crests were lighted with cold pink. Now Joseph saw the long piers ai1d wharfs and warehouses in the growing light, and beyond them crowded brick houses and other low buildings. Their, roofs were wet with moisture and here and there a street could be seen fro1n the ship, naiTow and cobbled and wii1ding, with patches of gray leprous snow piled along the curbs. Drays and wagons were beginning to move along those streets, horses straining. A nearby packet, soaked sails billowing, bowed and withdrew from a pier and Joseph could hear the shrill l1iss of its passing, so near did it venh1re. Curious seamen's faces

peered at the desolate Irisl1 ship which was to take its place at the pier. Some of the vessels were of the new sterun variety and they suddenly poured black smoke and soot into tl1e silent 1norning air, and tl1eir horns bellowed for no reason at all. Foot by foot the Irish Qiteen 1noved to the docks and the long sheds t1pon them, and Joseph strained fiercely to see the faces of the lonely crowds gatl1ered on the wooden wharf. Was his father runong then1? There were 1nany there, including some wo1nen, and tl1ey were weeping, for they already knew that the steerage passengers would not be permitted to land. So1ne forlorn hands waved il1 greeting. A 1nan was raising a flag 011 a staff 11earby ai1d for the first tin1e in his life Joseph saw the stars and stripes vvhipping wetly il1 the cold wind of winter and unfurling 11eavily to the new and 11opeless day. "So, and that is the brave flag," said a man at another porthole, and other men joined him to gaze at the forbidden land. One laughed derisively, then burst into a fit of coughil1g. Others joined him, as if a signal had been given. "They don't

want tl1e likes of us," said another voice. "Sure, and they do, and we go to Philadelpl1ia," said still another. "I have heard it, 1neself, with these ears, from Father." The door at the end of the deck opened ru1d three seamen appeared with a cart on which steamed bowls of oatmeal and fresh tea, and there were tin plates of hard biscuits and bread. The men ru1d boys rushed eagerly to seize the food bt1t Joseph did not niove. Was that his father there, that tall 1nan whose fair hair showed u11der his workman's cap? Joseph struggled for a moment with the fastenil1g of the porthole, but the iron 11ad corroded ru1d it could 11ot be moved. Al1, yes, it was surely Daniel Armagl1 there waiting, for the quickening light showed his fine features and Joseph's eyes were keen. Joseph's tl1in fist beat in1potently on the porthole, and he shouted. His cries awakened Sean, who began to whimper, and Joseph pulled hin1 t1pright in the bunk and forced his face against the porthole. "There! " he cried. "Tl1ere is Dada, Sean, waiting for tis!" Sean wailed. "It's not Dada," he protested. "I want my

brekky." Joseph had forgotte11. He looked about him anxiously. The cart with its steruning bt1t depleted load was abot1t to pass behind the curtain to the wo1nen. Joseph raced after it. "My little brother," he said. "He has not eaten." The serunen, in their dirty and crmnpled uniforms, glared at him suspiciously. "You'll not be wanting extra for yourself, then?" one de1nru1ded. "There's not enot1gh." "I don't want it for myself," said Josepl1. He pointed at Sean who was sittii1g and crying on the edge of the bunk ii1 his drawers. "My brother. Give him 1nine, too.'' A hot bowl was thrust into his hru1ds and a hunk of nioldy bread, ru1d he was pushed away. He carried the breakfast to Sean who looked at it and whimpered again. "I don't wru1t it," 11e wailed, and retched. Joseph's heart clenched in fresh dread. "Sean!" he exclaimed. "You must eat your breakfast or you will be ill, and there is no ti1ne." "I want Mt1m," said Sean and turned away his pretty face.

"Bt1t first, you niust eat," said Joseph with sternness. Was that indeed fever 011 Sea11's thin cheeks? Oh, God, Joseph inuttered witl1 hatred between his clenched teeth. He felt Sean's brow. It was cool but sweaty. "Eat," Joseph commanded, and the new note in his voice affrighted his little brother who began to c1y again and sniffle. But he accepted the tin bowl and the big spoon ru1d, sobbing, forced the porridge ii1to his mouth. "Good boyeen," said Joseph. He looked at the bread in his hand and hesitated. There was a gaunt hollow in him. But if l1e sickened, hiinself, the11 there would be no help for the other children. He began to chew on the hard bread, and now and then he rose on tiptoe to watch tl1e slow moving of the ship to the wharfs. The man with tl1e fair hair had disappeared. Then there was the rattling of chaii1s, a loud thump, and the broad wooden ga11gplank was lowered to the wharf. A chorus of voices rose, and disturbed gulls began to wheel in clouds above the ship and against a sky fro1n which the red light had faded and had now beco1ne du11 and

threatenii1g. Joseph could hear the cheepmg of the gt1lls, and fro1n below the moveme11t of cattle. A wet sail fell to the deck. Water 1nuttered and hissed about the hull. The harbor waters were filled with refuse and floating wooden bea1ns, and now the ocean was the color of pewter. In a 1noment it was pitted by a harsh and drivmg rain 1ningled with snow. Joseph shivered, and chewed somberly. This was not the golden land of which his father had written. The streets looked alie11 and sullen and deserted for all the wagons ai1d the carts and the occasional gleaining umbrella that scuttled along the cobblestones or on the bricked walks. The land was little and low and the skies, were iinn1e11se, and there was only desolation and icy chill and 1011eliness ai1d abandonment. This was 110 green Ireland with enonnous skyscapes of fairyland and the fresh fragrance of grass and trees and the still metallic glitter of blue lakes and s11ug thatched roofs and gardens knee-deep in bright bloom and racing streams filled with fisl1 ai1d herons, and songs of larks and 11edgerows shilling with buttercups and the punge11t sn1ell of burning peat

and warm little fires ai1d laughter in the pubs and the gay lilt of fiddlers. Here were no mysterious lanes overhung with oaks ai1d hollyhocks, no welco1ne cries, no songs, no smilmg lips. Joseph, still peering out at New York, saw the coming to life of factories and their heavy black tides of smoke darkenmg a sky already torn with storm. A mist was beginnii1g to rise fron1 the water and soon there would be fog as well as raii1 and snow. Joseph could hear the winter wind, and the sl1ip rocked against the wharf. The boy's mouth opened in soundless pain and 1nisery, but he immediately quelled the sha1neful emotion. He had terrible news for his father, and 11ow 11e tl1ougl1t of Daniel as a child who 1nt1st be protected. There were ht1rrying loud footsteps on the decks above, and calls, and Joseph knew that the fortt1nate passengers were disembarking and their trunks ai1d boxes with the1n. By straining he could see the first passengers leaving, the women in furs, the men in thick greatcoats and tall beaver hats. Carriages were appearing on the wl1arfs, with coachinen. The

wi11d whipped coats and the nien, lat1ghing, held their hats to their heads ai1d helped their ladies against the blast ru1d to the carriages. The horses' sleek bodies smoked. The water smoked. The sky appeared to s1noke. And the morning steadily darkened. Lt1ggage was taken ashore, ai1d waiting crowds embraced the passengers, and eve11 fron1 t11e closed steerage Josepl1 could hear laughter and excited twitterings, ru1d could see the happy movements of s11ugly clad bodies. The crowd waiti11g for steerage passengers had retreated like a frightened band of cattle, and 11uddled together to let the fortunate pass to the carriages, followe.d by ca1is of leather luggage and trunks banded in iron and brass. These were not those whom the Queen called "the Irish peasantry," but were landed gentry or Americans returning fro1n sojourns abroad. Joseph watched them enter their closed carriages, laughing at the wind, the ladies' bonnets whirling with ribbo11s, their skirts ballooning. The carriages ruinbled away at last, ai1d now there was only the wretched crowd who would not be pennitted to enter the

ship nor eve11 to see their relatives in the steerage, for fear of contagion. Nor were steerage passe11gers, not even during the long voyage, ever permitted to climb to the tipper decks for air and sunshine. For the first tin1e in 11is life Joseph felt tl1e awful sickness of hu1niliation. Tn1e, in Ireland, the Irish were despised and reviled and persecuted by the Sassenagl1, but then one ii1 tum stoutly despised and reviled the Sassenagh, hiinself. No Irishinan ever felt inferior even to his "betters," or to the English. He walked and lived proudly, even when starving. He never raised a piteous cry for st1ccor and sympathy. He was a man. But Joseph now guessed that in Alnerica the Irishman was not a 1nan. Here he would be permitted no pride in his race and in his Faith. He would meet only wit11 indiffere11ce or conte1npt or rejection, less than the cattle whicl1 were now clrunbering down the oily wet gangplank, accompanied by amorphous figures huddled agaii1st cold and storm. How Joseph guessed the truth he never fully understood, except

that he suddenly remembered that though his father had written joyously of wannth and "good wages" 11e had not writte11 of the people among who1n he had found himself but 011ly of brother Irishmen who had fled the Famine. There had 11ever been any me11tion of Alnericans nor gossip of neighbors 11or bits of 11ews concerning fellow workers. There had been one remark about the "little church" near the rooming house where Daniel worked as a janitor, and where 11e attended Mass. "But it is closed in the day, and there are no visits to the Blessed Sacrament but on holy days,'' Daniel had written, "and there is but one Mass on Sunday." Da11iel had spoke11 often of tl1e freedom in America before he had left Ireland. He 11ad 11ot written of it but once during these last months. Joseph looked at the flag twirling and tugging in the wind on the wharf. Now nothing was on the wharf bt1t piles of freight and seamen pushing barrows and carts, and the silent and rainsoaked crowd of wretched folk still hoping and praying 11u1nbly for the sight of a beloved lost face on the ship. The

11eavy dimness of the stom1y n1orning was too deep now for the identification of any features. The watchers seemed but of one body and one 1nass, hopeless and urunoving. Fog mingled with smoke. The water quickened and began to boom restlessly. "There is naught here for us, I am thinking,'' said a man 11ear Josepl1, and 11is voice was sick with despair. Bt1t Joseph's young face grew sn1aller and tighter witl1 resolution, and his exhausted eyes were charged with angry bitterness. Sean 1noved against him, whimpering insistently. "I want my Mum," said the child. "Where is Mun1?" I do not know, t11ougl1t Joseph. Sure, and it must be 11owhere. He said to Sean, "Soon. She is sleeping." The child 11ad left a spoonful or two of the cold porridge in the bowl and Joseph ate it. Sean watcl1ed him, then he began to cry. "Mu1n," he sobbed. "Mt1m?" "Soon,'' said Joseph again. He thought of his infant sister. He hesitated. Then he said to Sean, "I will look for Mum. Stay 11ere a bit, Sean." He gave tl1e child a 11ard and

commanding look ai1d it was frightening to Sean who saw it in the swinging light of the lantern 011 the ceiling. The child shraiik and watched his brother go dow11 the deck. The wo1nen's quarters were silent and 1nt1ffled in the total surrender to hopeless11ess. So1ne sat on their bunks, nursing or soothing little children in their arn1s. Son1e only sat, staring at wall or ceiling emptily. Some wept witl1ot1t sou11d, the tears dripping down their faces, to be wiped away with quiet hands. Even the children were still, as if recognizii1g calamity. Joseph found Sister Mary Bridget, wl10 was adininistering to a sick woman and her cl1ild. She tur11ed her old head and looked in silent compassion at the boy. "The babe?" said Joseph. The old nun tried to s1nile. "She is with Sister Bernarde, and there was wann milk, and she is a lovely babe, Joey. Co1ne, and see for yot1rself." She led tl1e way to the bunk of the young sister who sat like a childish Madonna with a bu11dled ii1fant ii1 her arms. She lifted her beat1tiful pale face to Joseph and her blue eyes sparkled bravely. Slowly she

unwrapped the ragged wool bundle and showed Joseph his sister. "Mary Regina," said Sister Bernarde with maternal pride. "And is she not a darling?" "And she is an Alnerican too, for sure she was born in American waters," said Sister Mary Bridget. Joseph was silent. The child 11ad been born under disastrous circumstances, but there was no mark on her waxe11 little face. She slept. Long golden lasher lay on her cheeks but her wisps of 11air were glossily black. "She has eyes like an Irish sky," said the yotmg nun and gently stroked the small white cheek with her finger. Joseph felt notl1ing at all except a fierce resolt1tion that this daughter of his niotl1er niust survive. The ct1rtain was pushed aside, and Father O'Leary's face peered around it. "Joey," he began, and then faltered and bowed his head and he let tl1e ctlrtain fall. But not u11til Joseph had seen his devastated face clearly. Joseph returned to the men's quarters, his thin shoulders squai·ed, and he went to learn all that he needed to know, and he knew it would be evil.

Chapter3 Father O'Leary was sitting in a broken attitude on the edge of Sean's bt1nk, ai1d 11e held the little boy on his la1ee and stroked his bright hair with a tender ai1d shaking hand. He saw Joseph approaching. He saw the strength in the t11in rigid body, the set of the shoulders, the fixed hardness of the young face, and t11e freckles that seemed to protrude on the white cheeks, and the nlouth that was as firm as stone, and as implacable. Joseph reached him and stood before hin1. "Well, and you 1nt1st tell me," he said, and his voice was the voice of a man who can endure. "And is it my Dad?" "Yes," said the priest. He patted Seai1's cheek and piteously smiled. "It's a good boyeen, this," he said. "He will not cry

while Joey and I speak together." He fumbled in the pocket of his frayed habit and brought forth an apple and held it high, and Sean looked at it with wondennent, his mouth opening. The priest pt1t it with a flourish li1 Sean's hands, and the little fingers stroked it with awe, and puzzlement, for he had 11ever seen an apple before. "It is good, Sean," said Father O 'Leary. "Eat it slowly. It is sweeter than 11011ey." Sea11 stared at 11im ai1d then at Joseph, and clutched the fruit as if in fear that his brother would take it from hlin. The priest said, "I bought it on the wharf, for Sean." His old voice strived for lightness, and pride. "Fifty cents, and that would be two shilli11gs, I am t11inking, for it is not the season and it was in gilt paper." He showed Josepl1 tl1e paper but the boy said 11othing. The priest stood up, and then he staggered with weakness and he bowed his head as he caught at the edge of the upper bu11k to steady hin1self. Only yesterday Joseph wot1ld have 11elped hlin, but now he held hin1self away, ai1d stiffly, as if he feared he would shatter and this was no ti1ne to shatter.

"Come," said the priest, and led the way down the deck to the end near the door where they could have a small privacy. Once there Joseph said in a rough voice, "You did not see my Dad." ''No," said the priest. He lifted his head and his dim eyes were filled with tears. Joseph considered him without pity or emotion. "You saw my Uncle Jack," said Joseph. "It was him I saw, 011 the wharf." "Yes," said Father O 'Leary. He wet his lips with the tip of 11is tongue. He studied the floor. Then he reached into his pocket again and brought out a crumpled green bill. "Two dollars, ahnost 11alf a pound," said the priest. "It is all your uncle cot1ld spare." He pushed the 1noney into Joseph's hand. Joseph leaned against the door and folded his am1s across his bony cl1est. He st1rveyed the priest with what the old man knew for cold hate and revulsion. "And my Dad?" he said at last, when the priest did not speak.

The priest's mouth shook, and he squeezed his eyes together. "Yo11 will be ren1e1nbering, Joey," he said in a very low voice, "tl1at yo11r mother, before she was taken, and after she had received, looked beyond us and cried out to your Dad, as if he were there, ai1d she s1niled and died with a smile of joy, recognizing him." He paused. The coughers had begun again, drearily. Joseph did 11ot move. "You are telling me, I thlllk, that nly father is dead, too?" The priest spread 011t 11is hands h11mbly, but could not meet the boy's stare. "I believe she saw his soul, and he was waiti11g for her," he whispered. "It was a joyful reunion, and you m11st not grieve. They are safe with God." Now he looked at Joseph and what he saw made him wince. "It was two 1nonths ago, Joey. He died of the lung fever." I must not think, yet, tho11ght Joseph. I must hear and know it all. "I believe he came for 11er, with the Mercy of God," said the priest.

Joseph's white nlouth twitched, but it did not lose its fixed sternness. "And 1ny uncle, Father?" The priest hesitated. "He has married, Joey." "And he has no room for us." "Joey. You 1n11st 11nderstand. He is a poor man. The two dollars he sent you is a sacrifice. This is not a land of gold at all, at all. It is a land of bitter labor, and the worker is driven like cattle. It is all yo11r uncle can do for you." Joseph chewed his underlip and the priest wondered at his impassive11ess. The lad was young, and an orphan, and he was umnoved. Josepl1 said, "Then I need not spend the fifteen dollars to co1ne back to New York from Philadelphia. ·T here is 11a11ght to return to. There is no one." The priest spoke with co1npassionate eagerness. "You must keep the n1011ey, Joey. Tl1ere is an orpha11age in Philadelphia, 1nanaged by the Sisters of Charity, where these with us are bound. I, too, am to live there. They will welcome the children of Danny Annagh and love them as their own." He pa11sed. "And it is possible that so1ne good 1nan, with

1noney, will be joyful to adopt the little colleen, ai1d Seai1, and give then1 rich homes with warn1 fires and fine food and clothing." For the first time Joseph stirred ai1d showed emotion. He stared at the priest in total amaze1nent and ot1traged fury. "And is it mad you are, Father?" he exclaiined. "My brother, and niy sister, my flesh and blood, given to strangers so that I will not know how they fare or where they are? Is that permitted in this America, that 1ny kin be taken fro1n 1ne? If so, we will return to Ireland." "Joey," said the priest sadly, "I have the paper from your uncle, consenti11g." Joseph said, "And let 1ne see that famous paper." Father O'Leary hesitated again, then felt inside his 11abit and brot1ght forth a paper and silently gave it to Joseph. The boy read: "I hereby grant to religious at1thorities the privilege of conveying adoption in the niatter of my deceased brother's children, Daniel Padraic Armagh, for they have neither father 11or mother. Signed, John Sean Armagh." The paper was

written poorly bt1t clearly, and dated this morning, March 1st, and signed. Joseph, slowly and deliberately, ai1d watcl1ing the priest balefully all the while, tore the paper into shreds, over and over, and then sh1ffed the remnants in his pocket. The priest sl1ook his head. "Joey, Joey. That will do no good. I 11ave but to send to your uncle for another paper. Al1, Joey, you are 11ot dull. I taught yot11nyself for nine years. You are but thirteen. How can you care for Sean and the babe?" The blows of the last hours now began to ache agonizingly in Joseph, but he held himself still. His heart had started to run like a racer's, and his voice was stifled and gasping when he spoke. "Father, I will work. I run strong. I will find work in this America. The children will be with the Sisters until I can provide a home for them. I will pay the Sisters. They will not be on charity. I will pay. And if I pay they cannot be taken fro1n me." The priest could have wept. "And what can you do, Joey?" "I can write a find hand, and that yot1 taught me, Father. I

can work in the fields and in the 1nanufactories. Perhaps there will be work in the orphanage a strong man can do, fire to keep, walls and roofs to repair. I have worked, Father, and I know what work is, and I do not fear it. But you must not take 1ny brother and 1ny sister fro1n me! If you do, Father, I will kill 1nyself, and that I swear to yot1! " "Joey, Joey!" cried the priest in horror. "It is a mortal sii1 even to speak of that! " "Mortal sin or not, that I shall do," said Joseph, and the priest, with dread, knew that he was not speaking as a child but as a 1nan. "And you will be responsible for my lost sot1l." He made a sn1all secret grin1ace and something ii1 hin1 smiled with rage and conte1npt as he saw the priest's old anguished face. "Yot1 do not fear God," said the priest, and blessed hi1nself. "I never feared anything," said the boy. "I shall not begin 11ow. But mark me, Father, what I 1nust do I will do." He looked at the priest with renewed hatred. "And that was what you were doing so long, Father, with 1ny uncle this morning,

while I waited. You were plotting against the children of Daniel Armagh, ru1d telling my uncle how to write the letter. You were uncomn1011ly sly, Fatl1er, but it has come to 11othing." The priest studied him with both pity and dread. "We thought it best," he munnured. "We thought it best. It was no wickedness we plotted agaii1st you, Joey. But if it is your will, then so be it." He left Joseph then and returned to Sean who was licking his fingers after eating the apple. The priest's eyes filled with tears again, and he held Sean to 11is breast. "Mum?" said Sean, and his face twisted as he began to cry. "I want my Mum." Joseph stood beside the priest. He thrust the two-dollar bill into 11is hand. "This I owe you," he said. "I take 110 charity. Say a Mass for my mother for what is left." He looked at the priest with dauntii1g strength ai1d aversio11. Then he took his brother fro1n the priest's knee and held his two hands in his own and looked down into the large teru·ful eyes.

"Sean," he said, "I am your father, and your 1nother, 11ow, and we are alone together. I will never leave you, Sean. I will 11ever leave you." He lifted his hand less than in a vow than an imprecation, thought the priest with a dim terror. The ship was weighing anchor. It began to move from the harbor and the snow and rain hissed at the portholes and the wind howled in the lifted sails, and their last hope gone the 1nen and women in the steerage put their faces in their hands.

Chapter4 "No," said Joseph Francis Xavier Am1agh, "I am 11ot Irish. I am a Scots1nan." "Well, you don't look Irish, that's for st1re. But that's a fum1y 11ame, Armagh. What is it?" "Scots," said Joseph. "An old Scots name. I am of the Establisl1ed Church of Scotland." "Well, that's better than Irish," said the fat man, with a smirk. "Still and all, you're a foreigner. We don't like foreigners, in this country. What do you mean, the Established Church?" "Presbyterian," said Joseph. "I' m nothing, myself, thot1gh I' m no atheist," said the fat 1nan. "Anyway, you 're not a Roman. Hate Romans. Trying to

take this country over for the Pope. And, yot1 know wl1at? What they do in then1 convents of theirs?" He snickered and leaned towards Joseph across his ht1ge belly, and whispered obscenities to him. Joseph's face ren1ained shut and s1noothly bland. He kept his hands loose, for he wanted to kill. The fat man tilted 11is cigar and cht1ckled. "Well, anyways. How old are you?" "Eighteen," said Joseph, who was sixtee11. The fat man nodded. "Big stro11g fella, too. And yot1 got the 1nean look I like. Hold yot1r own. That's what I 11eed, driving these big wagons. Know anything abot1t horses?" "Yes." "Do11't talk much, do you? Just yes or no. Like that, too. More me11 been hung by their to11gues than by the rope, heh. Well, now. You know how these blt1e-noses ii1 Pennsylvania are. The blue-noses are agin drink of any kind, with them Pennsylvania Dutch and their funny hats and hacks. Amish." The fat man spat ii1to a spittoon lavishly. "So, the po-leese do11't like wagons hauling beer and such on Sundays.

Godless." The fat man laughed again, and then fell ii1to a fit of asthmatic coughing, his puffy face and bald head turning scarlet. "But there's folks who need their drinks on Sundays, and who should be agii1 them? And saloons run short. So, we hat1l the beer and likker on Sundays when we get calls. Saloons ain't supposed to stay open on Sundays, but they do a good back-door business. That's where we come in. You haul the beer and likker ii1 a nice respectable-lookll1g wagon with 'grain-feed' on it, and you deliver and collect, and that's all there is to it." "Except the police," said Joseph. "Yeh," said the fat man, suddenly and sharply scrutinizing the boy again. '" Cept the po-leese. Ain't likely to bother you, thot1gh. Just drive sober ai1d straight. Farm boy going home or something, or out for a St1nday lark, driving his boss ' wagon. Just don't lose yot1r head. You don't look like the kind, thot1gh, that would. Feed bags on top of the stuff. Let ' em look if they want to. Invite 'em to. That makes them st1re it's all right. Then you drive on."

"A11d if they do more than just take a look?" The fat ma11 shrugged. "That's what I'm paying you a whole four dollars for one day's work, a week's wages, son. You get stupid. Son1eone gave you a little money to drive down a few streets. Yot1 don't know wl1ere, and you're supposed to meet a fella somewheres on a comer, and he's supposed to take over. That's all yot1 know, see? The po-leese confiscates the stuff, and you get thrown in the pokey for a cot1ple days, and that's all. When you get out you get ten dollars, from 1ne. And the next Sunday you're 011 the job agai11. Silnple. On a different route.'' Joseph considered. Four dollars a week! He 1nade but four for six days a week, twelve 11ours a day, in a sawmill on the river. It would co1ne to eight dollars a week, a fortune. He looked at tl1e fat man and loathed hin1. It was not just the fact that Joseph suspected that here was no mere grain-and-feed and harness merchant but a probable bootlegger transporting illegal whiskey fro1n Virginia and adjoining states. (Joseph, reme1nberi11g Ireland, had no revere11ce for duly constituted

at1thority, maii1ly British.) But that man ext1ded a dirty slyness and crafty evil that revolted him. "If you're thinkll1g tl1at I wouldn't pay you the ten dollars," said the 1nan. "I've no fear of tl1at," said Josepl1. "After all, if you didn't, I'd go to the police, myself, and let my tongue wag." The fat man howled with laughter and slapped Joseph's knee. "That's what I like! A man with spirit. Loyal, that's what it is. I treat you fair, you treat me fair. No quarrels, no argufying. Fair and square. And you'll deliver right, too. I'm a mru1 that keeps 1ny word. And I got friends that help me, if a 1nan does me wrong. Understand?" "You mean tl1ugs," said Joseph. "Hell, you're a man after me own heart, Joe! I love you. Call 'em thugs if yot1 want to. Who cru·es? I pt1t all my cards on the table, see? Nothing tlp my sleeve. Con1e next St1nday. Six in the morning. 'Til six at night. Then yot1 get your 1noney, see?" Joseph stood t1p. "Thank you. I will be here at six next

Sunday, Mr. Sqt1ibbs." He walked out of the gloo1ny anonyn1ous little building that stood on the edge of the small town of Winfield, Pennsylvania. It was a wooden building and held but two offices and two desks and a few tables and chairs. On the side in l1uge white-wasl1ed letters was tl1e legend: SQUIBBS BROS. DEALERS IN WHOLESALE GRAIN AND FEED. HARNESS. Behind the office building was a vast and well-kept stable of big dappled horses and vans. Behind this building was a warehouse of bagged com and other grains, a11d han1ess. It was see1ningly very legitin1ate. The warel1ouse a11d stables were full of me11, 11ot openly working-for that was forbidde11 on the Sabbatl1 in Pennsylvania-but merely caring for the horses and watering and groo1ning and feeding them. Some saw Joseph emerge fro1n the offices and studied him acutely, smoking their pipes, their caps pt1lled down over their brows. New fellow. Tall and hard-looking, and steady. Tn1st old Squibbs to pick them right. Never made but one mistake, and that was a smooth Federal spy, and nobody ever saw that one again anywhere.

Nobody. And trust old Squibbs, too. If a wagon was ever traced back to him-and that was easy, his nan1e 011 the wagons-he didn't know nothing, either. Some trusted employee had taken advantage of him, that's all, doing some illegal work for some bootlegger or somebody on Sundays. Old Sqt1ibbs had the chief of police ii1 his pocket, and was a big contributor to the Party. Even knew the mayor, To1n Hennessey. Of course, the police, and everybody, knew it was old Squibbs all the time, but he never got hauled ii1, no sir. And none of his men ever served 1nore tha11 a day in the pokey, either. All the police and the Big Fellows asked was that nobody talked and 1nade 110 fuss, though they had to take a little action whe11 some bluenose st1spected and co1nplained. Just a little action, every now and then, to keep the citizens quiet, and besides old Squibbs did do a feed and grain business open to anyone's i11spectio11, and very profitable, too. It was the "Sunday lads" who sometiines got into trot1ble, not the regular boys on the weekdays. Old Squibbs took care of his own, ai1d you could

say that for him, and the good wages. Winfield was one hundred fifty n1iles from Pittsburgh, a du11 little town which 11ad no n1ajor industry but the sawinills 011 the river. Yet, it was a rich town, for many of its men dealt in illegalities, including slaven1nning, and other vices such as the transportation of fam1 girls and women to the large cities. The inhabitants preferred that tl1e town see1n to be povertystricken and humble, unworthy of notice and scrutiny, supported by its 1nills and the prosperous fam1ers beyo11d its confines. Even the very rich men lived in plaii1 clapboard gray houses or small 11ouses built of yellow sandstone 011 small lots, and their women dressed plainly and they 11ad only traps or inexpensive buggies and one or two horses, tisually kept in the local livery stable. No one was ostentatious. No one displayed lavish jewehy, or silk gowns or elegant shoes or the latest fashion or stocks fastened with pearl and diamo11d pins, or brocaded cravats or vests. And everyone spoke in st1bdt1ed and decent voices and no one was lot1der in dent1nciatio11 of "fast horses and fast won1en" than the men

who dealt in them, and their friends. "Dens of vice" were almost unknown and never spoken of, thot1gh they flourished also, discreetly, and expensively and prosperously, and opulent enough for Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York. Everyone supported the churcl1es, and everyone attended services on St1ndays, and everyone cultivated the reputation of beii1g "God-fearing.'' All the ladies belonged to temperance societies, especially tl1ose ladies whose husbands dealt in the ei1onnous bootleg trade ai1d owned the condemned saloons. All decried slavery and were prominent in abolitionist organizations, especially those who, taking advantage of the Dred Scott decision of the U. S. Supreme Court, hunted and then returned slaves across the borders, a11d collected large sums for their efforts. Some of them, who knew an excellent thing whe11 it presented itself under their respectable noses, even had agents in the Sot1th who induced slaves to n1n away and paid for their passage across the border, there to be held for a few days and then returned to their owners. All spoke of "tolerance'' and "brotherly love"

and 11onored William Penn, and no co1nmunity was more 1uthless and exploitative ai1d bigoted than Winfield. It was a gritty, dusty, barren little tow11, 11gly even under suffilner skies and beside the rushing green river. The ch11rches appeared drab and listless; the public b11ildings showed a pe11urious hand, the cobbled streets were usually dirty and ill-kept. There was no grai1deur or pleasa11t vista anywhere, no parks, no open flowery spots or 1nany trees. It was avoided by travelers, which was exactly what the inhabitants desired, and so there were few inns and no "wicked" theaters or halls of music. Its square, 011 a Saturday, tee1ned only with farn1ers who "can1e to town" to gawk or drink or lean against build:ll1gs and talk, while their wome11 shopped in the plain poor stores for necessities. The streets were 11arrow and dull, faced with smeared wi11dows and doors opening directly on pla11ked and broken walks. There were few gardens in the rear, for grit was everywhere from neglect and from the small factories and sawmills. The only bright and interesting spectacle in the

town was on tl1e riverfront where the sq11atters dwelt in shacks and the stean1boats paddled noisily up ai1d down the stream to other and more interesting cities. The rich a11thorities of the town really lived in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, or they had homes in the radiant green hills some three niiles away where beauty and gaiety and lavishness were i1ot limited. For the great majority of the poor inhabitants there was no joy and little pleasure but the saloons and walks through the streets and endless "prayer meetings," and endless sermons and devotions in the many churches, ai1d family gatherings for S11nday dinner in dark little rooms, or solenm disc11ssions of the "Roman Me11ace," and niissions to the heathen and the iniquity of slavery and the corruption of "that d:lliky little government in Washington,'' which was far, far away. Mr. Lincoln had just been elected Preside11t but even those wl10 had voted for hin1 de11ounced him now thougl1 he 11ad not yet taken office. Many of the inhabitants had come fro1n the stark hills of Kenh1cky or tl1e Tidewater area of Virginia to "work on the railroad" or in the factories and the

sawmills, and for them the natives of Winfield 11ad adopted the Southern appellation of "white trash." These people carried with the1n their folkways of speaking and life and so the 1nen and wo1nen of Winfield were titillated by a sense of superiority to the "hillbillies." To Josepl1 Armagh, Winfield was repulsive, alien, and lightless. Its ugliness and lack of color disgusted hin1. The voices he heard were strange ai1d discordant. Its lack of hu1nan diversity ai1d lively move1nent depressed hiin. It was a gray prison and ofte11 he felt that he was sn1othering. His loneliness frequently overwhelmed hin1 with despair of so active a nature that it was like ai1 ague. The sweltering surruners 1nade hlln gasp beyond endurance ai1d the winters were a long suffering. He had lived here for three years and knew 110 one but the Sisters in the St. Agnes 's Orphanage, and he had little conversation with his fellow workers in the sawmill. They shunned hi1n, for he was a "foreigner" and therefore suspect. He was never seen to lat1gh or to engage in gossip nor heard to t1tter an oath. This was niore than enough,

with his lilting brogue, to incite enmity ai1d ridicule. To the few who knew of Winfield it was known as a "real quiet small town," bt1t to the people of Virginia who had to deal with it it was "that there mud hole up North." The Sabbath eve11ing was closing in this late November day while Joseph walked towards the orphanage whicl1 he visited once a week. He htrrried, for it would soo11 be too late for visitors. A dun and dirty drizzle bega11 to fall and there was a dank wind fron1 the river and the houses and streets becaine ii1creasingly blaiik and gltun and anony1nous. A slimy 1noisture bega11 to gliste11 on the stones where a dull lamppost blew down its feeble ligl1t. The few trees flung then· stiff webby shadows on brown walls and gloo1ny little houses, ai1d they uttered a dry and crackling roar. The last daylight showed a racing mass of black clouds against a pallid grayness. Joseph plunged his chilled hands into the pockets of 11is too-short greatcoat which he had bought, secondhand, nearly two years ago. Even then it had been thin and cheap and of the shabbiest material, blackish and coarse, with a

grubby velvet collar. Now it barely covered his knees and hardly stretched across his broad shot1lders. He wore the woolen cap with a visor that all workingmen wore, as brown as earth. He possessed no gloves, no waistcoats, no cravats. His sleazy shirts were cleai1 if cheap. To Joseph a nian did not reach total degradation until he neglected soap and water and to that degradation 11e wot1ld not fall. A cake of pt1ngent soap cost three cents, the price of a cup of coffee and a slice of bread a11d cheese. When he had to choose between them he bought the soap. But hunger was an old familiar to hlln and had his yom1g appetite ever been satisfied, he would, now, not have recognized the sensatio11 or it would have made him uncomfortable. It had bee11 years since he had eaten his fill and tl1e memory was becoming vague. Still, he was always hat1nted by a sick craving and sometimes a shaking weakness, and sometimes 11e would be covered by a prickling sweat, the result of weariness and sen1istarvation. He walked proudly and swiftly, not bowing his head before the drizzle. He could s1nell the wet dt1st of the streets, and the

dead leaves in the gutter. The river wind exhaled an odor of fishy cold water, a11d a rancid ste11ch of oil blew from somewl1ere. His pale you11g face was set but otherwise it expressed no emotion. He had learned that he niust endure, and the Irish genit1s for endura11ce was strong in him. He passed a s1nall livery stable in which a yellow light burned, and he saw the accuston1ed sign on the closed doors: No IRISH HIRED. With this, too, 11e was fa1niliar. He felt himself fortt1nate that he had 11is job on the river sawmills and never cot1ld regret that he had called hin1self a Scotsman n1 order to obtan1 work. A man 1nust do as he must do, old Father O 'Leary had once told him, but hai·dly in the co11text in which Joseph now found 11imself. However, it beca1ne the n1terior waiTior cry of Joseph Armagl1. He had not created the world in which 11e was forced to live, nor did he feel, or ever feel, that 11e was huly a part of it. He 1nust survive. Self-pity was as rept1lsive to him as sentimentality, and a compassionate glance-which he received only from the nuns and the priest of St. Agnes's Churcl1-filled hin1 with a bitter rage as at a

1nonstrot1s insult. He passed the filtl1y little saloons with the sl1ut doors and the dark wi.J.1dows, ai1d knew that in the rear revelry "on the Sabbath" was in full voice. He hesitated. He was thirsty, and a 1nt1g of beer would be satisfying. But 11e had bt1t fifty cents in one pocket, and payday was not until Tuesday, and in the 1neru1tin1e he had to give his aching stomach some suste11ance. Ii1 another pocket, pinned securely, was the two-dollar bill which he would give to the Sister Superior to11ight for the weekly board of his brother and sister. So long as he supported Sean ai1d Regina they could never be taken from him on the plea that they were indigent orphans. He was recovering from a cold. He coughed harshly and 11oisily 011ce or twice, and then spat. The rain was now pelting. He began a half-run. Against a sky becon1ing steadily darker he could see the steeple of St. Agnes 's Church, a 1niserable little bt1ilding which had once been a barn, all gray walls and peeling paint ru1d nruTow plain glass windows and shingled roof which leaked dt1ring bad storms. It was open

only for Sunday Mass, a single Mass, and for the morning Mass during the weekdays. Otherwise it was locked, for fear of vandals. An old watchinan slept behind the sacristy anned with a club, a venerable and penniless old man whon1 a heavy winter gale could make stagger or fall. But he believed both in God and his club, and slept sweetly. Next to the church stood an equally miserable building, a little smaller, which 11ad also been a big barn long ago, but whicl1 how housed five nuns ru1d some forty children without ho1nes or gt1ardians. Somehow the nuns had gathered together enough mo11ey to enlarge the barn and make it a two-story and ramshackle affair of wood and odds ai1d ends of curious lumber, and somehow they had furnished it cleanly if nieagerly. It stood, with the church, on a sn1all plot of la11d which the men of the parish kept green and neat in the sunlffier. The wo1nen of the parish, almost as destitute as the Sisters, planted flower seeds against t11e sifting walls of both church and orphanage, and during the summer the desperate poverty of botl1 buildings was partly alleviated by the living light of blossoms and green

leaves. The people of the parish, to the rest of the inhabitants of Winfield, were pariah dogs, fit only for the dirtiest and most revolting work which not even the "river scum" would accept. They were also the poorest paid. Their women worked ii1 the houses of their superiors for small rations of food and two or three dollars a 1nonth. They bro11ght tl1e food 1101ne nigl1tly to their fa1nilies. The only joy any of then1 possessed was ai1 occasional mug of beer, and their Church, and their Faith. Joseph Armagh never entered that church. He 11ever mingled with the people. He regarded the1n as dispassionately as he did the otl1er people of Wi11field, and with the same far indifference. They 11ad nothii1g to do with him, and his life, and the thoughts he thought, and the stony detem1ination that lived in him like a dark fire. Once Father Barto11, accosting him deliberately as he left the orphanage, had tried to soften that tacitun1 and obdurate young man and had attempted to engage him in conversation beyond the few words Joseph would give hi1n. He asked Joseph why he never attended


Mass, and Joseph said nothing. "Ah, I know it is the Irish bitterness in you," said tl1e young priest with sadness. "You remember Ireland, and the English. But here, in Alnerica, we are free." "Free for what, Father?" The priest had looked at him ea1nestly, and then had wii1ced at t11e sight of Joseph's face. "To live," he had 1n11rmured. Joseph had burst out into ugly laughter, then, and 11ad left him. The priest then spoke of Joseph to the Superior of the con1bined convent and orphanage, Sister Elizabeth, a small portly 1niddle-aged wo1nan with a kll1d and sensible face ai1d gentle eyes, but also with a grim 1nouth ai1d a will tl1at, Father Barton suspected, not even God could bend. She was not the conventional docile and obedient nun who1n Father Barton believed had comforted his bleak childhood. She feared no one-and possibly not eve11 God, the priest also suspected with some interior misgivings, and she had a worldly brief

smile and ai.1 iinpatient air of tolerance when he delivered some small homily or pious apl1oris1n to her. When he becaine particularly ethereal she would say quickly and with an abrupt motion of her small fat hand, "Yes, yes, Father, but that will not buy any potatoes, I am thinking." It was her famous reply to any maudlin remark or sentimental dithering on the part of anyone. Father Barto11 had said to her, "Joseph Armagh, Sister. I confess that he tro11bles me, for tho11gh he is very young he seems to have had experiences far beyond his age, and has become hard and vindictive over then1, and m1forgiving, and perhaps eve11 vengeful." Sister Elizabeth considered, fixing her eyes 11pon the priest for several moments. Then sl1e said, "He has 11is reasons, Father, with whicl1 you and I 1nay not agree, but they are his reasons, bo1n out of sorrow, and he 1nust find his way alone." "He needs the help of his Church, and his God," said the priest. "Father, has it ever occurred to you that Joseph has no

ch11rch, ai.1d no God?" "At so young an age?" The priest's voice trembled. "Father, he is 11ot young, and it is possible that he never was." With that reply sl1e had closed the co11versation ai.1d had bustled away, her wooden beads clicking, and the priest had gazed after her ai.1d had wondered, wretchedly, how it was that in these days the Religious seemed more concerned over 1natters of the world than ii1 their hope of heaven. Smarting a little, he re1ne1nbered: "But that will not buy any potatoes." Once he had tho11ght to say, "God will provide," but he guessed at once that Sister Elizabeth was waiting for hiin to 1nake just that re1nark so she could pounce, and so he had refrained, flii1ching. Joseph was not thinking, tonight, of either Father Barton or Sister Elizabeth, for they were no more to him than anyone else. They merely existed, as others in his world existed, and 11e never permitted the1n to approach him, not beca11se he resented or respected them-for he did neither-but because he knew they were not part of his life at all and represented

11othing to him of any value except that the nun sl1eltered and fed his brother and sister u11til the day when he could take them from her. He had no more anin1osity towards them than 11e had for tl1e rest of the world of nien and vvomen, for he knew now tl1at personal animosity bro11ght people more sharply towards you, made you aware of their being, and there was no time for this or ru1y other wasteful emotion like it. There would be no intrusion ii1to his existence by any stranger, for that weakened a man. He had no ctrriosity about others, no sense of fellowship with those abo11t him, no pity, 110 hostility, no longing for companionsl1ip for all the loneliness that tortured him frequently. On another occasion Father Barton had said to him, knowii1g his history, "Joseph, there are multitudes of people in this country, and not only from Ireland, who have suffered and have lost as you suffered and lost. Yet, they do 11ot tuin away from otl1ers." Joseph had stared at him without expression. "I neither turn away nor turn to, Father. I ain as I was made. The same anvil

and 11a1nn1er create horseshoes and knives and harness and nails and a t11ousand other things, and not only one. The same experiences tum one man this way, and another the other way, and it is in their nature." The priest had mru-veled at this, for Joseph had been but fifteen then, and then he was frightened for 11e vaguely felt that he was confronting a pl1enome11011 new to hin1, and terrifying, for it was like a natural force which no mru1 dared reft1te or defy, but only accept. The tho11ght filled the priest with sadness and fear. Then he remembered that one you11g 11u11 had shyly told hin1, "Joseph loves his brother ru1d his sister, Father, and he would die for tl1em. I have seen it on his face, the poor lamb." But lately the priest had begun to believe that the 11un was 1nistaken. Joseph reached the orphanage with its faillt yellow lrunps shining through the clean bare windows, and its whitened stone steps and its bare fa